Staying Small Successfully: A Guide for Architects and Other Design Professionals / Edition 1

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Making smaller A/E/C firms more productive and more profitable

Want to do big things with a small company? This no-nonsense guide shows leaders of smaller architecture, engineering, and design firms how to compete successfully against larger organizations without becoming one of them. It demonstrates how a smaller firm can position itself to bring more value to its clients, operate over a larger geographical area, and develop a strategic plan for increasing revenues and profits.

Featuring new chapters on forming strategic alliances and maximizing the benefits of information technology, this new edition presents updated case studies of more than fifty small design firms. These firms have achieved remarkable success and handled large contracts with limited staff, and the case studies illustrate how they learned to:

  • Anticipate client needs and meet them in advance
  • Narrow the target market and expand the client base
  • Leverage core competencies to create powerful marketing tools
  • Establish strategic partnerships
  • Survive and thrive during an economic downturn

Read Staying Small Successfully, Second Edition and follow its recommendations one step at a time. Your company will stay small, but your business, your revenues, and your profits will soar.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471506522
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1991
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 7.41 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

FRANK A. STASIOWSKI, FAIA, is founder, CEO, and President of PSMJ Resources, Inc., a worldwide firm that specializes in improving the performance of A/E/C firms of all sizes and their personnel.
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Table of Contents

Foreword xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction 1
New Opportunities for Success 1
We're in an Industry Sea Change 2
Identify Your Smarts 2
Develop Leaders in Your Firm 3
Be Proud of Who You Are 3
Reference 3
Chapter 1 Planning and Strategy 5
The Need for Vision 6
Defining a Vision 7
The Concise Written Vision 9
Elements of a Plan 9
Conducting a Planning Meeting 34
Repeat the Process Periodically 37
Success Challenges 43
References 43
Chapter 2 Focusing Your Practice 45
Advantages of Focusing the Practice 46
Steps to Focusing 46
Success Challenges 86
References 86
Chapter 3 Strategic Alliances 87
The Unique Rewards of Strategic Alliances 89
Communication Is the Key 93
Framing a Strategic Alliance 93
Success Challenges 94
Reference 94
Chapter 4 Servicing the Client 95
Service versus Design 98
Little Things That Count Big 99
Responsiveness 105
Project Management 105
Quality Control 119
Quality Control for the Actual Work 126
Innovate Even Normal Activities 134
Success Challenges 136
References 136
Chapter 5 Personnel 137
Hiring 137
Controlling Your Ego 138
How to Attract Top People 139
Develop Top Performers from Within 141
Announce Positions Within 146
Delegate! 146
Probation Period 151
Fire Incompetents 151
Employment Contracts 152
Success Challenges 157
References 157
Chapter 6 Compensation 159
Motivating Design Professionals 159
Benefits 163
Timing Pay Raises 164
Incentive Compensation 165
Career Tracking 171
Creating an Atmosphere of Achievement 171
Success Challenges 173
Reference 173
Chapter 7 Managing the Bottom Line 175
Simplified Financial Planning 177
Budgeting 177
Key Financial Measures 184
Profit Is Everything 192
Sharing Financial Information 201
Success Challenges 201
Chapter 8 Information Technology 203
Developing Your Strategic Information Technology Plan 206
Understand Your Systems 208
Standard Issues 209
Computer-Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) 212
Virtual Reality 217
Using Your Computer as a Presentation Tool 219
Collaborative Computing 220
From Internet to Extranet 222
Internet/Intranet Strategies 223
Implementation Issues 225
Success Challenges 226
References 226
Chapter 9 Growth 227
Benefits of Small Firms 227
Defining Your Growth 229
When to Grow 229
Ways to Grow 230
Growth Rate 232
Stages of Growth 232
Risks Inherent in Growth 234
Success Challenges 234
Chapter 10 The Psychology of Winning 237
Ownership Transition 238
Competing with Your Peers 239
Success Challenges 244
Chapter 11 Do's and Don'ts of Success 247
Do's 247
Don'ts 261
A Final Word 268
Success Challenges 268
Appendix A Buy/Sell Agreements 271
Appendix B Preparing Your Marketing Plan: Techniques and What to Include 301
Appendix C Is Your Cover Letter Making a Difference? 305
Recommended Reading 309
Index 311
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